The New York Islanders have been looking for a spark for a while now. The team entered the season with serious Cup aspirations. That is no longer the case with a 17-19-6 record just over halfway through the regular season.
While the playoffs look unlikely, Barry Trotz isn't about to just sit and watch his team fall further. The two-time Jack Adams winner decided to spark his lineup by injecting just about every line with some "identity".
New York Islanders return lineup to normalcy
Cal Clutterbuck jumped to the top line, Ross Johnston was added to the second line, and well the fourth already had plenty of "identity" to pass around. The third line was the only line to remain unchanged.
And well it worked for a game and very much didn't for the next two. After a good 6-3 win over Vancouver, the Isles fell by a combined 8-3 to the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. Clearly having fourth-liners sprinkled around the lineup wasn't working.
So arriving in Buffalo, Trtoz decided to return to a more normal lineup"
Say what you will on what's been plaguing Kyle Palmieri when it comes to scoring goals, but the Islanders need to have him in the lineup. With $20 million invested in him, the Islanders can't afford to have him sit in the pressbox.
Will sitting him out turn him back into that player that converted 13.4% of his shots into goals from 2014-15 through 2019-20? We all sure as heck hope so. Again, the Islanders need Palmieri to return to his best ASAP.
Does this more normal lineup help the Islanders create more offense? Again, who know but the Isles sure as hell need it to do just that.
At the time of writing Kyle Palmieri has scored a goal so I guess its working.